Press Release: KIWI POETS IN NEW YORK

9 February, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Nau mai, haere mai, ka nui nui te mihi ki a koutou katoa, nga hoa aroha o Aotearoa me nga tuhinga whiti o reira.

Translation from Maori: A warm welcome to all poetry lovers and friends of New Zealand.


For two years Jim Wilson travelled to cities and towns throughout the USA and put poem posters by Kiwi poets on poles, walls and in cafes and stores. 

 

Then a dedicated group of volunteers also put these poem posters up in cities around the world from London, Glasgow, Paris and Vienna through to Sydney, Australia. 

 

Back home in New Zealand, Wilson’s company Phantom Billstickers Ltd has put up thousands of Kiwi poems on walls and poster bollards from Invercargill to Whangarei. 

 

Now eight of New Zealand’s finest poets bring their voices, hearts, and words to a live performance poetry event in New York City.

 

The Phantom Billstickers Poems on Posters initiative has attracted much interest and attention from radio stations, newspaper columns, and blogs, but more importantly (much more importantly) the poems themselves have been read on the streets. The poems on posters capture the interest of the passer-by and this is what makes all the difference.

 
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Who are the Band of Bards from Aotearoa New Zealand?

 

These leading performers on the Aotearoa New Zealand spoken word scene are hand-picked rugged individualists, energetic imagineers, who will bring you poetry in motion from far-flung degrees of latitude, with a Kiwi-consciousness-raising cabaret, by turns eclectic, electric, comic, melancholic, idiosyncratic and euphoric. Spiraling out of the South Pacific to stand and deliver stories and lyrics about oceanic love, environmental vigilance, and the dramatic dilemmas of identity, this flying circus of Kiwiana activists, Pasifika scene-painters, fretboard-fingering songsters, acrobatic word-jugglers and megaphone motormouths promises to carry you across the date-line and re-orientate your inner global positioning satellite, all in the course of just one colorful evening.

 

The Poets From New Zealand to Perform in New York on February 28, 2012 are:

 

Jeffrey Paparoa Holman / David Eggleton / Hinemoana Baker / Sandra Bell

Jay Clarkson / Pamela Gordon (reading Janet Frame) / Otis Mace / Tusiata Avia

 

Many other Kiwi poets have lent their voice to this project since its inception in 2009.  Several prominent American poets have also participated.

 

Two American Poets Making a Special Guest Appearance at this Event are:

 

Gerald Stern (National Book Award winner)

and

Jeffery McCaleb (The Bard of Cookeville, Tennessee).

 

THE INSPIRATION

Printing poems on posters is largely about hope. This world is sometimes hard and is often a painful and ugly place.  The goal of the Poems on Posters Project is to give poets a hearing and bring a softer voice into the streets. This is what has been missing: the heart and voice of the poet which is something that everyone can understand.  Poem posters are “Flora for the Concrete Jungle” and they are uplifting.

 

Jim Wilson founded Phantom Billstickers, New Zealand's premier poster and street-media company in 1982, to give musicians, the arts, and creative people in New Zealand a voice, and to use posters on walls to put “Bums on Seats”.  Now his aim is to use posters to share the heart of the Kiwi poet with people outside of New Zealand.  Simple.

 

On Jim’s mission to spread the word, he spent two years traveling across the United States putting up poem posters in the streets.  Many large cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, New Orleans, Seattle, Memphis and San Francisco got a “good pasting” but venues off the beaten track were not immune.  Jim also traveled the back alleys off of Highway 61, braved the mid-summer heat in the rural south (Tennessee and Mississippi are particularly close to his heart), and chipped ice off of some telephone poles and notice boards in Central Vermont and Northern New Hampshire to put up poem posters.

  
Poets from New Zealand and the United States who have had their work featured on poem posters as a part of this project include:  Aroha Harris, Becky Woodall, Ben Brown, Bernadette Hall, Bill Direen, Bill Manhire, Brett Lupton, Brian Turner, Campbell McKay, Chris Price, Chris Knox, David Eggleton, Dylan Kemp, Elizabeth Smither, Frankie McMillan, Gary Langford, Gary McCormick, Geoff Cochrane, Gerald Stern, Hilaire Campbell, Hinemoana Baker, Hone Tuwhare, Jackie Steincamp, James K Baxter, James Milne (aka Lawrence Arabia), Janet Frame, Jay Clarkson, Jeffery McCaleb, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Jody Lloyd, Joe Treceno, Jordan Luck, Josie McQuail, Keri Hulme, Laurence Arabia, Marcie Sims, Marty Smith, Michael White, Michele Leggott, Nicholas Thomas, Otis Mace, Pablo Nova, Patrick Connors, Rhian Gallagher, Robert Creeley, Robert Pinsky, Roger Hickin, Sam Hunt, Sandra Bell, Selina Marsh, Serie Barford, Sonja Yelich, Stephen Oliver and Tusiata Avia

 

We hope that many more will be able to participate as the project continues.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

You can read about the Phantom Billstickers Poems on Posters project as well as Jim Wilson’s articles on postering in cities across the USA at http://www.0800phantom.co.nz/blog/poetry

 

For Further press enquiries or interviews please contact:

 

Jamey Holloway                                              Kelly Wilson

jamey@0800phantom.co.nz                            kelly@0800phantom.co.nz

Phone +64 2133 3012 (NZ)                                Skype 215 297 4212 (USA)

 

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